Kathmandu, April 15 With an aim to encourage transparency in the country’s sole secondary market, Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) has made Permanent Account Number (PAN) mandatory for high-volume share investors from today. The Securities Boards of Nepal (SEBON) — the capital market regulator — had directed Nepse to implement the provision of making PAN compulsory for traders conducting daily transactions of above Rs 500,000 from April 14. Earlier, SEBON had consulted the Inland Revenue Department to implement the provision on all types of investors and had directed Nepse to implement the provision on all investors. However, it was forced to revoke the decision after stock investors protested. Still, SEBON has said even those investors who conduct transactions of below Rs 500,000 per day can voluntarily submit their PAN. According to Chandra Singh Saud, chief executive officer of Nepse, submission of PAN will help the government to identify individuals and companies and in tracking the source of money, which will eventually promote transparency in the secondary market. SEBON officials said that the provision will also help determine the exact number of large investors in the secondary market. Based on the number of demat accounts, SEBON estimates that there are 1.5 million investors in the secondary market. Uttam Aryal, chairman of Investors Association of Nepal, said that the PAN provision has impacted the number of transactions and trading volume too. “The government is trying to control the spirit of free market economy,” he claimed. However, Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada, while presenting the government’s policies and programmes for the current fiscal year, had clearly stated that the PAN provision would be made mandatory for stock trading from this fiscal year itself.